Cruise Travel

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

An uber ride from my Miami hotel on a Sunday morning to Miami’s carnival sea port, for an epic journey to the Dominican Republic on my first ever cruise ship ride!

On board Fathom’s Adonia cruise ship we sailed down south to reach Amber Cove, Puerto Plata.

But before we actually sailed a couple of things had happened; from touring the ship, getting set up in our rooms, meeting with our preassigned activates leaders and groups! (I know right, I didn’t expect anything like that, in fact, it’s something not every cruise ship does, or probably ever did!) And going through safety drills with some stand-up comedy on the side! (I’ll explain lol)

on my way to my room with my luggage (let’s do this!)

a little virtual tour of my room via Snapchat

but when your room got teas, coffee, and snacks… Honey, I’m Home!Snapchat-4290481420840257402

After getting set up in my room and looking at the daily itinerary and the welcome package… I can almost hear my heart beating.. of joy that is! I just couldn’t wait to see the Dominican Republic and get to engage with the locals and volunteer with the activities Fathom had to offer.


Since it was my first cruise trip, I just did not know what really happens on them. I thought of it as a regular boring transportation ride, like any other to a specific destination. In fact, most of them can be, but it all depends on you deciding to stay in your room and not engage in the activities, or meet people and have fun 10 days away from home! (and of course work/school stress)

Looking at the daily activities; breakfast from 7am-10am, lunch 10am-1pm, Snacks, dinner, etc..
Then there was salsa dancing class, fitness, workshops, Spanish classes, group meetings, karaoke,

live band,


and

it all was basically “How to make friends 101”

We all started out as strangers and became life long friends! apologize.. I mean FAMILY!!

Even with the staff! Like we got so comfortable with each other. The staff started pranking us with taking selfies with our phone! (ME!!)

So,

I decided to go to the restaurant’s dinner not the buffet for the first night (there’re so many places to eat, you will never go hungry not even for a second on that ship!) I was surprised that I got greeted by a host wearing a white shirt and a black collar to match his black pants, seated by a waiter in between a group of strangers on a round table, handed the menu with fancy type fonts and top Manhatten restaurants kind of dishes.

I was the third person to get seated on that table, I and a married couple that looked like they were in their fifties, chatted till another two members joined in (an exchange student to the US and his host) followed by another two young couple from California, ended up with a bunch of strangers knowing more about your life and goals than your own parents and friends over an amazing 4 courses fancy meals and drinks.

But of course when I the clock turned 10:00 pm, cinderella… Oh sorry, I had to excuse myself and catch that salsa dance.

You see! My unforgettable Dominican Republic story kinda officially begins from Salsa class! Where the people that I met became more than just strangers and more into friends, best friends, and family to me!!

I went on this trip alone, but I was never ever alone.. the love and unity that I got while on my Dominican Republic Fathom cruise ship are blessedly a dream!

Let me show you some beautiful Amber Cove pics before we head into town!

Fathom had so many “things to do” both on and off the ship! We used to run around from one event or class to another before it finishes just to not miss another one that was happening at the same time with our full back to back schedule!!

The way Fathom made my Luxurious cruise to the Dominican Republic impactful both mentally and locally is amazing.. to the point you feel good about traveling to poor countries because you’re heading there to volunteer and help local communities as well.

Fathom had so many opportunities to help out locally, for example;

Teaching English to a local school (We were the first tourists they ever saw!)

We got to hear so many beautiful stories of courageous people and how they dealt through all of life’s troubles, that we felt empowered to change and “be the change we want to see in the world”

Here are some of Fathom’s work;

Now; let’s get to the part where we broke some rules and left the cruise ship to have our own adventure!!

One girl had an uncle in DR, so when everyone was doing whatever they were doing (Salsa, shopping, sun tanning, swimming, etc) we sneak out to meet with her uncle, her cousin and her other cousin’s boyfriend! (LOL) to a tour all across the Dominican Republic by car (total of two cars) we stopped on the way to exchange some money, we got the drinks and snacks and went straight to a private beach called Playa La Ensenada!

with lots of corny incidents and miscommunications with lots of hand gestures; unforgettable laughs and funny moments that will definitely make it to my future grandchildren when I tell them about my travels 😀 

And why not be a little tourist!

Hola San Felipe! 💣

A post shared by Salwa Kisswani (@salwakisswani) on

 

With great friends (I met them on the cruise ship 😀 )

Cruise buddies 🌴

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A walk into town central!

Hello gentlemen! 🎩

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And a little visit to the amber museum (of course I bought a beautiful pair of amber earrings!)

Simplistic beauty! 🔮

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My amber earrings… I’m wearing them in this picture!

Before Awards selfie! 🏆

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Wheel of fortune! 💿

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We also visited Brugal

Got a chance to visit Brugal ; DR's famous Rum factory! 🍷

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Where they create their most famous Rum

We got a little tour too 😀

The formation of Rum over the years! 🍷

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With all that, there’s nothing more beautiful than going back -after many long days trips into town- to our Fathom ship at night

Home is where the lights are! 🔮 Adonia #Fathom!

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Or our view in the next morning!

My current view 😍 #Fathom #Traveldeep

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And when we decided to chill by the pool!

My temporary office! 🌴

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or on the hammock, while doing some work!

💙

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Ahh, Life is so beautiful in all its shapes…

We loved how every local we met was very grateful for what they had in life and genuinely happy with what they have… it’s a feeling many people lack and truly seek back in the states, to feel happiness!

The Dominican Republic was an amazing, unforgettable experience.. & I’m very grateful for Fathom Cruises for giving me that opportunity to experience and live, meeting the most wonderful people who I call family now and giving me a chance to experience happiness from the eyes of people with the most basic lives.

DR.. I’ll be back soon. Thanks for the most amazing week of my life 😀

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22 Comments

  • Reply Freya Farrington May 17, 2017 at 4:12 am

    So glad to hear you had a good time and took so many photos of happy memories!

  • Reply Elena May 17, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Judging from the photos you had an awesome time! I would also like to visit Puerto Plata one day.

  • Reply Gladys Parker May 17, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    What an amazing adventure. The fine room, the Salsa Dancing, the fine dining, and all that was before you left the ship. The sights and meeting the people of the Dominican Republic seem like an adventure all on it’s own. A trip of a life time.

  • Reply Michele May 17, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Wow–that was some adventure you had! I’ve never been on a cruise but your post almost makes me ant to go on one!

  • Reply Jana Carrero May 17, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Wow there are so many great memories from your trip. Looks like you had an awesome time!

  • Reply Bonnie LeahSay May 17, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    I love traveling and being near the water. The best part of traveling for me is experiencing the new to me foods and culture. It looks like you have a wonderful time during your cruise.

  • Reply Shirley May 18, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Wow these are the so wonderful images, full of life and colors. These are the memories to cherish lifetime.

  • Reply Ali Rost May 18, 2017 at 4:41 am

    What a wonderful post! With all of your beautiful photos (and video) I felt like I was cruising right along side. I’ve never been on a cruise before, and wouldn’t shy away because it seems like there is so much to do. I loved what you wrote about your time in the Dominican Republic. It’s always eye opening for me when we travel .. it makes me see the world through other people’s eyes x

  • Reply Elena May 18, 2017 at 7:26 am

    I have never been to Dominican Republic. I do not like the hot weather but seeing your photos I might change my mind.

  • Reply Elizabeth O. May 18, 2017 at 9:14 am

    That’s a lot of awesome moments right there! It’s good to know that you had a great time and it shows in the pictures and the videos. What I love about traveling are the unforgettable memories.

  • Reply Rahul Khurana May 18, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    That’s a really big post, but with pictures, it didn’t felt so. The pictures are really nice. It seems to that you must have had a lot of fun on this trip. 🙂

  • Reply Katriza May 18, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Wow this place looks like so much fun! I would love to go here with my family some day. I’m totally adding it to my bucket list! <3

  • Reply Catvills May 18, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience! It made me want to book a cruise right now. It was fun, wasn’t it? The last time I was on a cruise was 2 years ago and I am hoping we could do another trip soon.

  • Reply DR May 18, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    I was once reading a story about holidays. It said something along the lines of the trip starts as soon as you get on the road. To the airport, to the port, it doesn’t matter. You show taking a cruise to the Dominican that this is true! It looks so exciting on a cruise ship and the Dominican seems so beautiful!

  • Reply Ravi May 19, 2017 at 5:41 am

    You surely had an amazing time and enjoyed a lot. The pictures look cool and the weather looked great..

  • Reply Helen May 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    It looks like you had an amazing time. I’ve not been a cruise before, I can’t believe how much there is to do on the ship!

  • Reply Catvills May 19, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    What an awesome experience. It has been a while since I was part of an outreach program to help out members of a poor community. It feels so heartwarming to be able to volunteer your services without expecting anything in return.

  • Reply Lindsey May 20, 2017 at 3:03 am

    Wow, what amazing pictures it looks like a real dream. Glad you had a great time.

  • Reply Agnes May 20, 2017 at 7:19 am

    It was fun to go through your pictures and see all your experiences , looks like it was an awesome trip.

  • Reply Surekha May 22, 2017 at 10:45 am

    All pictures are a proof that you had such great time. Enjoyed all the pics and post

  • Reply EG III May 22, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    Looks like you had an awesome first cruise experience and thank you for bringing us along on your adventure. It’s nice to see something positive about the DR because I recently read a post that really bashed it but I still think it’s a beautiful country that I’d love to visit.

  • Reply Alexandra May 23, 2017 at 6:25 am

    Amazing pictures!! I could picture myself being in the Dominican! Thanks for sharing!

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